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Word Study PD: Building on Strengths

I enjoy working out. But I have a not-so-secret hatred embedded in those workouts: push-ups. I can run, deadlift, jump, and lunge with the best of them (okay, that’s an...

The Third Rail: Coaching and Instructional Assessment

As I reflected with Joy about our recent coaching cycle, we looked back to our original goals and the pre- and post-data about her students' work. We had seen more...

Scheduling Study Groups for the Year

It’s that time of year when I launch professional development offerings for next year. Some of the texts are being used in voluntary study groups, others in grade-level team meetings....

Book Study

For school leaders, developing effective professional development is a nagging itch that never goes away—valuable, troublesome, and difficult to conquer. Yet, when we ask teachers what they would most like...

Community over Connectivity: Mindful Technology Practices

As a school leader, I don't have all the resources I want, but one of the few I can generally ask for and expect to receive is technology. Whether software...

Creating the Future

The best way to predict the future is to create it. As teachers arrived in August, we asked them one question: “What is your hope?” Then we watched this short...

Ms. Perfectly Nice

We all know that teacher. The one who is agreeable, pleasant to work with, quiet, and perfectly nice. Heck, I think I’ve even been that teacher. I have sat in...

Know Their Story

Sally was a veteran teacher. That’s what I was told. She’s one of our vets. As a younger educator, I had heard that phrase several times to describe teachers who...

I’m Already Doing This

I glanced up from my notebook where I was taking notes and smiled at the teacher sitting next to me. She didn’t smile back. I bent my head back down...

Whenever They Are Ready: Building Trust for PD Success

It’s a paradox of school leadership that we generally know what we need to do to ensure every student is successful, yet we fight with each other and within ourselves...

Using Video to Step Forward

When leading professional experiences for teachers, I find there is much power in providing opportunities to observe teaching in action. As we reflect on practice, hone our craft, or discover...

Using Norms in PLCs

Is there anything more awkward than having to reprimand an adult? To ask an adult – a colleague, even – to stop scrolling through Facebook during a meeting? To remind...

Setting Norms in PLCs

I don’t know if I heard it, read it, or just realized it, but I know that I believe it. When you are working with a group of adults over...

Ways to Personalize PD

Literacy coaches Cathy Mere and Kelly Hoenie talk about some of their efforts to personalize professional development for teachers over the past year, and what they learned that they will...

Resisting Traditional Definitions of Productivity

The first day back at school after spring break felt like stepping on a treadmill at full speed. Testing season was upon us, a school recognition application was due, and...

Old Technology for New Engagement

In a world with so many connections, is there still room for learning that is untethered? My son recently found my 35 mm camera. He was playing with the lens,...

The Instagram Project

“So, what have you been reading lately?” I have learned the power these seven words hold to invite readers to share their reading lives with others. As a literacy coach,...

Coaching Minute: Tech Tools

Cathy Mere shares two tech tools that are invaluable resources for her coaching.  

Personalizing Professional Learning Opportunities

Planning the professional learning for the coming school year is a tightrope walk. We want to honor teacher autonomy and choice, yet be vigilant in keeping the focus on literacy....

Fail to Learn

We perform for ourselves, often the harshest of audiences.                                                                          Thomas Newkirk I think every teacher has a grade level or subject area they would prefer not to teach. I...

Helping Teachers Weed Libraries

I am a book collector. I love seeing books on my shelves, books in baskets in each room, book stacks on my desk, and books beside my bed. When I...